CHENNAI: A public interest writ petition seeking suspension of seven officials, including the Ramanathapuram collector and inspector-general of police (South Zone), for their failure resulting in the death of six dalits in police firing at Paramakudi, has been filed in the Madras high court.
When the PIL, filed by advocate P Pugalenthi, came up for admission, the first bench comprising Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam posted the matter before a division bench headed by Justice Elipe Dharma Rao, for hearing.
Pugalenthi said in his petition that the detention of dalit leader John Pandian sparked the protests by dalits on September 11, and that the police had no reason to stop John Pandian.
Pointing out that the dalit leader had obtained prior permission to take part in the celebrations, the PIL said the police stopped him from proceeding to Ramanathapuram unnecessarily.
Similarly, the police firing on the protesters too was an extreme action which could have been avoided, he said, adding the as long as the seven officials, including the district collector, were in service no fair probe could be conducted.
Eye witnesses would be afraid and reluctant to testify before the committee, he said. "It is, therefore, necessary that the officials be suspended in the interest of effective functioning of the commission of inquiry appointment by the government," Pugalenthi said.
The petitioner said dalit people in the state needed an assurance from the government that suitable action would be taken against the guilty, and that no such incident would recur in future.